The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has announced the last installment from the government’s £10 million Fisheries Response Fund will soon be paid out.
Qualifying fishing and aquaculture businesses will receive a further and final payment from the government’s funding. Eligible businesses will be contacted by the MMO and payments will be made directly into business accounts by June 15.
So far more than 1,200 fishing and aquaculture businesses have received payments from the Fund for April and May. The payment for June is the final payment from this Fund.
The Fund included £1m for the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme, a grant scheme for projects to support the sale and consumption of locally caught fish. A joint endeavour between Defra, Cefas, the fishing industry and MMO, the first successful projects were awarded grants this week. The judging panel is due to review further projects on 8 June.
The Fund has been welcomed by the fishing industry which warned of businesses closing unless help was provided.
Tom McCormack, CEO, MMO, said: “We mobilised quickly to be able to put both of these funds in place and ensure the cash from the Treasury and the Maritime and Fisheries Fund was invested directly into the fishing industry at the earliest opportunity.”
The measures were put in place to support the English fishing industry, in particular smaller fishermen
The main features of the scheme are:
- For the catching sector, the fund will be open to under-24m vessel owners with fishing licences registered in England who recorded sales of £10,000 or more in 2019.
- Grants will be made to help cover fixed business costs. For the catching sector this will be calculated from the average business costs for the size of the vessel, as surveyed by the industry annually.
- Details of the eligibility criteria, including the criteria for the aquaculture sector and support for local projects, will be announced in due course by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
- The MMO will administer the fund, contacting eligible registered owners and licence holders directly in stages with details of how to apply, starting on Monday April 20 through to early May.
- Payments will be made for up to three months.
Please see MMO’s guide to further assistance and support available the fishing industry.
Source: Marine Management Organisation